Is theft a felony or a misdemeanor offense? What you need to know

On Behalf of | Jan 1, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Theft can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor offense, depending on the prevailing circumstances and facts of your case. The consequences of a conviction vary, which is why it is necessary to understand the differences between the kind of charges you will likely face.

The difference between felony and misdemeanor theft lies in the value of the stolen property in question, which depends on the state’s statutory laws. Most states, such as Alabama and Georgia, have the amount set at $500.

If the total value of the stolen goods falls below $500, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. Anything more than $500 in the value of the stolen property is considered a felony charge. However, repeat petty theft offenders risk facing felony charges.

What are the possible outcomes of a conviction?

Felonies usually carry harsher penalties than misdemeanors. For instance, you may face up to one year in jail if convicted of misdemeanor theft. On the other hand, there is a possibility of getting several years behind bars, depending on the degree of your felony theft charges.

You will also end up with a criminal record if convicted of either offense, which could affect your quality of life for a long time after doing time.

Get help with your theft charges

It is crucial to get the necessary legal assistance if you have been charged with theft. There is a lot at stake if convicted, regardless of whether you are a first offender or facing a misdemeanor charge.

Fortunately, it is possible to go against your criminal charges successfully if you know where to look and what to do when crafting a defense plan. An experienced and informed legal team can help safeguard your interests and increase the chances of a desirable outcome.